If we don’t know what a patio is what else don’t we know?

The Vassar administration appears to have finally had enough. On Nov. 2, the College published revised guidelines for parties which stated, “Moving forward and given recent changes in our indoor unmasked student gathering policy, parties will be limited to fifteen people inside and up to ten additional people in the immediate patio of the relevant apartment (total 25 guests). The other major change is that music setup will only be permitted inside the apartment hosting the party.” I am not writing this article to critique the change in policy, but rather to refute the blatantly incorrect claim that the Vassar apartments contain anything remotely like a “patio.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a patio as either a “courtyard, especially an inner court open to the sky,” or “a recreation area that adjoins a dwelling, is often paved, and is adapted especially to outdoor dining.” Disappointingly, I have yet to find any student apartments at Vassar College that contain a courtyard. Logically, we must assume that the latter definition is what is being referred to here.  While it is true that apartments at Vassar, such as the Townhouses, possess a small slab of paved concrete outside their back doors, it can hardly be described as a space for “recreation” nor “adapted especially to outdoor dining.” 

Why does this matter, you ask? I could respond with innumerable reasons, but for the sake of brevity I will limit myself to two. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, this suggests a possible ignorance of the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary. One shudders to think of the countless other words that may have been used erroneously over Vassar’s 160 years of operation. Secondly, this may suggest that Vassar has been falsely representing the amenities of student life. While not as egregious as disrespecting the dictionary, this still warrants some concern. After all, what truths will we uncover next!? I personally hope that the college will finally admit that Lathrop House is merely fiction. I encourage all students to work hard to uncover the truth of students living here at Vassar, whatever their personal hopes may be. The can of worms that is student housing at Vassar has finally been opened!


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